Skadden represents a wide variety of clients in compliance and enforcement matters involving U.S. and international anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. We advise global financial institutions, payment service providers, digital asset service providers and other multinational companies on all aspects of global AML and sanctions compliance. We also represent corporate boards and senior employees in AML compliance and enforcement matters, both civil and criminal.
We engage with clients at the ground level to help them detect and prevent potential violations of law through our day-to-day compliance counseling. Our team has assisted hundreds of clients, including scores of the world’s largest financial institutions, in reviewing, developing and implementing worldwide AML and economic sanctions compliance programs to identify and prevent potential legal breaches. We design and tailor compliance programs to meet each client’s risk profile and business requirements, taking into account the institution’s existing organizational and management structures, culture and global needs, as well as the expectations of regulators.
We have substantial experience helping our clients prepare for and respond to regulatory inquiries and examinations, assessing the need for and drafting voluntary disclosures, and conducting internal investigations and transactional due diligence. Our attorneys have experience working with every major federal and state financial services regulator in the United States, as well as the financial services regulators in the United Kingdom and many European jurisdictions.
We also apply deep knowledge and broad experience to advise financial services companies in the digital assets and Web3 space on a full range of regulatory, enforcement and legislative matters affecting their operations and strategic planning. We have advised exchanges, digital wallet providers, decentralized finance companies, non-fungible token platforms and stablecoin providers on a wide variety of issues, including AML requirements and novel regulatory approaches, such as the New York BitLicense.
Our AML transactional review and support services are an extension of our position as a leader in global M&A. The combination of our compliance and enforcement counseling experience and our global deal platform positions us to draw on the necessary resources to work with clients to identify and manage “deal-stopping” issues at an early stage (or before entering into a transaction), and to monitor these matters through the life of a transaction. Conducting proper transaction reviews, including advising on the risks associated with complex transactions, completing comprehensive pre- and post-transaction due diligence, and drafting and negotiating relevant contractual terms are key tools to ensure compliance with sanctions and AML laws and regulations, and mitigate the risk of enforcement actions or reputational damage.
We vigorously defend our clients in enforcement proceedings brought by regulatory agencies and prosecutors, including the Department of Justice, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the New York State Department of Financial Services. We have successfully resolved numerous cross-border and multi-agency civil and criminal investigations.
Our attorneys also advise clients in a wide variety of matters involving the U.K. Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K. Prudential Regulatory Authority, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority and public prosecutors, the French National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (Parquet National Financier), and the French Ministry of Finance, among others.
We also have substantial experience with post-enforcement remediation matters and monitorships. Our attorneys frequently assist clients in developing and implementing internal compliance programs and advise on the design of remedial measures (including in-house training programs). We advise our clients on executing AML lookbacks mandated by regulators. Additionally, our team provides legal and strategic advice to clients who engage monitors and independent consultants regarding the conduct of such reviews and in responding to findings and recommendations.
Many of our attorneys have government experience directly related to AML and related areas, such as economic, financial and international trade sanctions, including at the U.S. Department of Justice, FinCEN, OFAC, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State, as well as serving as a legislative advisor for international trade and foreign policy in the U.S. Senate. Our attorneys have served on the U.S. Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Council and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Policy Advisory Committee on Trade.
Skadden earned top honors in more practice group categories than any other firm in Law360’s 2022 Practice Group of the Year awards, including Fintech, Capital Markets and M&A. In 2020, Legal 500 UK ranked Skadden Tier 1 for Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime. The firm received the 2019 top ranking in International and Internal Investigations from Decideurs Compliance Guide and was rated “Excellent” in the Compliance Programs category for the second year in a row. Skadden was named Law360’s Practice Group of the Year 2019: White Collar, the 2019 Transatlantic Investigations Team of the Year by the Transatlantic Legal Awards and The American Lawyer’s 2018 White Collar/Regulatory Litigation Department of the Year. Global Investigations Review awarded Skadden Most Important Development in Investigations for 2018, and we received a 2017 Chambers USA Award for Excellence for having the nation’s top Securities and Financial Services Regulation practice. Skadden was one of only five firms recognized in the Sanctions Law Firm of the Year — USA category at the WorldECR 2017 awards. The practice and its attorneys also have been recognized by Chambers and Partners, US News — Best Lawyers Best Law Firms, Lawdragon, Who’s Who Legal, IFLR1000 and the Women in Business Law European Awards.